Looking Back, Looking Forward: The Path to Releasing Token

Melanie Shapiro
Sep 5, 2019 · 3 min read

Dreaming up, building, and ultimately bringing Token to market continues to be a journey defined by passion, perseverance, and reflection. Our mission is to enable a keyless lifestyle, both digital and physical, so you can safely access everything you need in life without cards, keys, or passwords — just the ring on your finger. I’m proud to say that our extraordinary team of engineers are razor focused on developing a solution to meet the complex issue of identity protection. And we’re getting close.

In the midst of all the day to day decisions involved with building a new product, we spend considerable energy defining and working toward the right milestones that will bring us into the future. But I’ve found that the greatest insights can come from slowing down to reflect on the milestones in the rearview mirror. Our team and our partners have made incredible progress, so I thought it was time both to look back at our accomplishments, and also shed some light on what’s to come.

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Test of the first working prototype, 2017

Of all the memories and moments I’ve shared with my team at Token, the most powerful and inspiring was watching the faces of my engineers on a Saturday morning back in 2017 as they watched the LED on Token flash for the very first time (just days after the first units came off the production line). We had already been working on Token for nearly a year, all holding onto the hope and dream that we could actually make this small ring do all the things we wanted it to. It would be easy to say that “we knew it would work all along,” but it wasn’t until we actually SAW it working that we truly believed it was possible. This is the single most inspiring experience I’ve had at Token — here are a dozen people all showing up to work every day to build something that we just now realized was possible — the significance for me was in realizing that it was our shared commitment to our mission and to each other that had been the driving force all those months.

This experience was something that we’d look back on for courage, as obstacles came hard and fast after that. Battery issues, materials issues, and supply chain issues are just a handful of the hurdles we would need to overcome to get to our next prototype in May of 2018. This time it was part of a beta release for our partners at Microsoft.

Our beta testers at Microsoft would be the very first people to use Token in the wild, and for this, my team and I are so deeply grateful. The insights we received during this period helped us further refine everything from the right gestures to use at access terminals to the way we use the LED to give users feedback.

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VP of Engineering Richard Lourette doing what he does best, 2018

In July of 2019 we passed another huge milestone by completing interoperability tests that pave the way to EMV certification, which will allow you to use Token as a secure and reliable method of contactless payment. This also means that the ring’s software has been finalized, allowing for both payment and access features to be ready for our initial rollout, with an expanded feature-set coming according to the roadmap below. Uncertainty is abundant when you’re trying to do something that hasn’t been done before, but we will continue to fight our hardest to meet our timeline.

I have the deepest gratitude for everyone who continues to support our work and the mission we’re on at Token. Your patience and generous input is so appreciated, and my team and I can’t wait to deliver you a powerful experience inside a tiny little package. :)

-Melanie

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Token unifies the way you prove your identity to the world…

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